MIAMI (WSVN) - Could Miami’s proposed soccer stadium complex be a billion dollar boom, or a bust?
City commissioners on Friday are set to at least discuss developing Miami Freedom Park on the current Melreese Golf Course.
Inter Miami CF, Miami’s Major League Soccer franchise, needs at least four commissioners to say yes to move forward with it.
But they’ll likely have to move forward without the support of Commissioner Manolo Reyes, who did not mince words about his opposition.
“I will not vote for something that doesn’t favor the City of Miami and its residents,” he said.
The project would include a 25,000-seat stadium, shopping center, hotel, office park and public park.
League owners want to lease the city-owned land for 99 years with a minimum rent of $3.57 million.
Another outspoken critic of the proposal is South Florida-based filmmaker Billy Corben. He spoke with 7News on Wednesday.
“We are privatizing profits and socializing losses,” he said.
Corben, who directed the documentaries “Cocaine Cowboys,” “Screwball” and “The U,” recently put together a two-minute clip further elaborating on his opposition to the stadium deal.
“You always have a happy billionaire on one side, and then you have the taxpayers holding the bag on the other,” said Corben.
Corben teamed up with former Miami Marlins President David Samson, who was involved in the Marlins Park deal back in 2002.
“If you thought the Marlins Park deal was [expletive], wait until you get a load of this,” Samson said in the documentary clip.
Samson said this current stadium deal needs better transparency.
“I believe it’s being mismarketed. It’s actually a real estate deal,” he said.
In 2018, voters agreed to let city officials negotiate a “no-bid” deal with league owners.
Four years later, with a rising real estate landscape, some think the minimum rent in this deal should also rise once a new city-ordered land appraisal of the property is done.
People who live near the proposed park are also waiting to see what happens.
“I think it will be great. Why not?” said area resident Samantha Barthelemy.
“I’m just hoping that we can get a concrete answer,” said area resident Sebastian Arias.
“I’ve been waiting to hear any progress, whether or not it’s not going to happen,” said area resident D’Angelo Gutierrez.
7News has reached out to Inter Miami co-owner Jorge Mas several times, but as of Wednesday evening, he has not responded.
Mas did discuss the deal on ESPN.
“It’ll create, probably generate 15,000 jobs, tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue,” he told ESPN reporters. “I’m very, very optimistic for the future.”
City commissioners are set to discuss the fate of the Melreese golf course and Inter Miami’s proposed deal beginning at 2 p.m. on Friday.
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